Johnson Rescue Squad New Ambulance Includes a Number of Safety Features
After a little more than a year of planning, the 12 volunteers of the Johnson Rescue Squad placed their new ambulance into service Monday, April 30. The new unit arrived in Johnson on April 26. It replaced a 1989 ambulance which required considerable maintenance.
Squad volunteers started planning on obtaining a replacement ambulance back in January 2011. Squad members looked at several ambulances and decided on a unit in February 2011. The squad qualified for a 55 percent U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and it received a $20,100 grant towards the unit. Lawrence Waskowiak, Johnson Rescue Squad treasurer, said that the grant amount was reduced twice because of the economy.
Other funding which went towards the ambulance came from billings, estate contributions and annual fundraising activities. The squad members have an annual pancake feed each January or February.
“The community is very generous in supporting us,” Waskowiak said.
The new unit includes a number of safety features, he said.
There is a big light above the hood cab which will shine about 300 feet.
“It is very bright. We can see deer in the fields up to the corner. All of the lighting is light emoting diodes (LED). You can open up any compartment and you have LED lights. All of the compartments are fully illuminated. Two compartments can be accessed from both the inside and the outside. The ambulance has a deer guard,” Waskowiak said.
The squad can transport two patients at once in the new ambulance. There is a child/infant carrier seat. The unit has the capability to become a paramedic unit. There is a locked compartment to transport drugs. There is a writing desk with storage underneath. There are toggle switches in the back. The driver has the same controls in the front. The unit allows squad volunteers to know what the main oxygen level is at all times, he said.
“It has an air ride suspension. It’s smooth,” Waskowiak said.
There is a large digital clock inside the unit. The unit has digital heating and air conditioning, he said.
“We set the temperature and it maintains that temp regardless of the outside temperature. We can raise the temperature and lower it. We can raise the temperature to 90˚ if we have a hypothermia patient and lower the temperature to 60˚ if we have a patient with heatstroke,” Waskowiak said.
For cleanliness, he said that the floor is sealed. The squad members can tip it up and hose it off as needed. There is a compartment with AC outlets where all items which need charging are kept. The driver can close the door to seal off the front compartment. Beneath a whiteboard is a window which may be opened if the squad is not transporting a patient. The new unit offers an easier exit than the former one, Waskowiak said.